Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bliss - The BookShed versus Litopia

In the interests of encouraging friendly rivalry between the “new writing” sites Litopia and The BookShed, I’m pleased to reveal that BookShed member Patricia J DeLois’ short story, Bliss, has received a glowing review from Michael Legat. Bliss was initially, it is rumoured, rejected by Litopian moderator Lynn Price, when it was used to apply for membership on Litopia. It was not, apparently, good enough. As to which site is spotting and attracting the talent, I suggest you read Bliss and draw your own conclusions. Personally I think it’s as good as any American fiction I’ve read recently. It’s up there with Annie Proulx and Tobias Wolff. DeLois is a new voice in American fiction and you heard it here first.


Nick Poole said...

I've no idea if it was Lynn or one of the other moderators who rejected Bliss. Lynn gave me a very short telling off for complaining about it though. But all credit to her and Litopia, they took another look and admitted Patti immediately.

Does cast some doubt about the rigour of Litopia's assessment process though.

oscuridad said...

I just stumbled on this. I remember the work. it was good, as I recall - but I think that the blog is rather misleading on the whole - the assessment was favourable after a due process of consideration and patricia was admitted to the colony.

Lets hope that a cordial peace continues to reign. Hope all is well in the shed.


James Whyle said...

Hey, Osc. Thanks for stopping by. And let peace reign indeed. Send best wishes to Maria H.

Anonymous said...

I find this post neither "friendly" nor amusing because it smacks of a personal vendetta you continue to have with me even though you're no long a member of Litopia. I have no idea why you've chosen to single me out and take personal affront at anything I've ever written on Litopia, but it's rather unprofessional. As editorial director for our publishing company, I critique writers - it's a fact of life and it most certainly isn't personal on my part. The same goes when I critique on Litopia - it isn't personal - yet you've chosen to interpret it as so. This says far more about you and your inability to accept critique than it does me, as an editor.

Would you post untruths about Kirkus or Publisher's Weekly if they gave you or one of your friends a less than stellar review? All this does is reveal how little you understand the industry and about maintaining a professional demeanor.

I'd also be interested to know what makes you believe only my fingerprints were on your friend's initial rejection. Litopia works by getting a quorum of input - not just one opinion. Your belief in my influence and blind rancor is quite misplaced.
Lynn Price

Nick Poole said...

That wasn't very peaceful, was it? What happened to the truce?

I don't think James was accusing you or Litopia of bad faith, Lynn. Just making a poor editorial decision...whoever made it. The quality of Bliss shines out and its hard to see how you collectively could miss that.

Oh well. Pax vobiscum.

Patti DeLois said...

Excuse me, are y'all talking about me?

The piece that I used to apply to Litopia was basically an exercise--it wasn't even a draft of anything. It was something I threw together because I didn't want to give away my best stuff, and although I later developed it into Bliss, I don't know how much of Bliss is evident in it.

I got a rejection letter from Litopia, and I didn't take offense.

My understanding was that Nick had a word with someone, and the next thing I knew the panel changed its mind, and I was invited in.

At the time I thought I was accepted because I was friend of Nick's--later it occurred to me that I might have been rejected in the first place because I was a friend of Nick's.

But it's entirely possible that they just weren't impressed with my application.

Although if that's the case, then I do wonder why they changed their minds about it.

Nick Poole said...

Well...things went badly wrong between me and Litopia as you know. But it's hard to believe that the Litopian Mods even knew that I'd invited you. They would have just treated it as a normal application.

I don't think it was a panel rejection. I think hardly anybody looked at it. The quality was already there, how could a panel miss it?

No, when the panel looked at it later, they ALL liked it.

So how did it get rejected in the first place?

Like Maddie McCann, we will probably never know.

oscuridad said...

lots of assumptions here - whether we all liked it I don't know - enough of us did though. I can't even remember whether this was the application Nick got very upset about in CL, it might very well be, in which case it would have been hard to miss that he had invited her. We will never know, ancient history though, and I don't know about you guys but I've got a future to worry about, not a past...

bon chance, tout le monde

James Whyle said...

Quite right do. Good luck with the writing.